Gulf stock markets fall on concerns over rising COVID cases in China – Markets

Most Gulf stock markets ended lower on Tuesday, with the Saudi index extending its losses to a fifth session, on concerns over a spike in COVID-19 cases in China.

Oil prices, a key catalyst for Gulf financial markets, extended losses, slipping to a two-week low, with Brent futures falling $5.95, or 5.6%, to 100 $.95 a barrel at 0747 GMT.

Saudi Arabia’s benchmark fell 0.7%, hit by a 6.9% decline in Saudi Arabian Mining Co.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco fell 1.4% to 38.75 riyals. US oil services company Schlumberger said it received a contract from Aramco for integrated drilling and well construction services in a gas drilling project.

“Gulf Cooperation Council stock markets have fallen along with other global markets as risks mount on top of those stemming from the Ukraine conflict,” said Daniel Takieddine, managing director of MENA BDSwiss.

China recorded a sharp rise in daily COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, with new cases more than doubling from the previous day to a two-year high, raising concerns about the rising economic costs of the measures. the country’s strict lockdowns.

Gulf markets fall

“China has also become a source of concern as Russia looks to it for help which could also expose it to sanctions,” Takieddine adds.

The Qatari index fell the most, falling 1.7%. Qatar Electricity And Water Co fell 8.5%, its biggest percentage drop since March 2020, as utility shareholders approved the acquisition of 40% of Nebras Power’s share capital.

The Abu Dhabi index fell 0.7% and the main Dubai stock index lost up to 1.4%.

Amlak Finance ended down 6.3%, extending losses to a fifth consecutive session. On Friday, the UAE-based Islamic lender reported a year-end cumulative capital loss ratio of 87.6%.

Outside the Gulf, Egypt’s blue chip index reversed early losses to close flat.

“The drop in oil prices is an additional negative factor as Egypt may see a drop in income as agricultural products continue to rise,” says Takieddine.

SAUDI ARABIA down 0.7% to 12,408

ABU DHABI fell 0.7% to 9,480

DUBAI down 1.4% to 3,305

QATAR lost 1.7% to 13,237

EGYPT was stable at 10,423

BAHRAIN slipped 1.8% to 1,969

OMAN increased by 0.4% to 4,343

KUWAIT fell 0.5% to 8,608